Thursday, December 27, 2012

'Straightening Out' the National History Curriculum

They can't get the story straight today:

"When Khaled Meshal arrived in Gaza a couple of weeks ago and made a speech to that effect, he insisted: 'We do not fight the Jews because they are Jews. We fight the Zionist occupiers and aggressors. And we will fight anyone who tries to occupy our lands or attacks us.' The British Observer mistranslated his speech as: 'We don't kill Jews because they are Jews. We kill the Zionists because they are conquerors and we will continue to kill anyone who takes our land and our holy places.' While the Observer would later run a correction after the tireless Ali Abunimah exposed the doctored quotes, its mistranslation was in line with Zionist propaganda." (Zionism, anti-Semitism & colonialism, Joseph Massad,, 24/12/12)

And they couldn't get it straight back in 1919:

"President Wilson was absent from the [Paris Peace] Conference and in the United States during February 14-March 14, 1919. Following a meeting with Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and Louis Marshall, on March 3, he was quoted as having declared that 'the Allied Nations with the fullest concurrence of our own Government and people are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth'... The statement was cited in a number of papers in the Near East and, on April 13, at the suggestion of Professor Westermann, Secretary of State Lansing inquired of the President whether he had been correctly quoted. President Wilson replied on April 16 saying that he had not used any of the words quoted, although he had used their substance. He remarked, however, that the expression 'foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth' went 'a little further' than his idea at the time. All he had meant to do was 'to corroborate our expressed acquiescence in the position of the British Government with regard to the future of Palestine' - ie to reindorse the Balfour Declaration." (The King-Crane Commission: An American Inquiry into the Middle East, Harry N. Howard, 1963, p 31)

But their help in straightening out our draft national history curriculum is most welcome:

"The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has cautiously welcomed the final versions of the federal government's National Education Curriculum for ancient and modern history in years 11 & 12. ECAJ executive director Peter Wertheim said the final versions were a 'significant improvement' on draft versions released earlier this year... Wertheim also commented that the final document for the modern history elective, The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East, was a 'much better quality document' than its draft, following ECAJ submissions to correct 'factual errors and tendentious language'.* A spokesman for ACARA said: 'ACARA consulted extensively with the Australian Jewish community. We welcome the input of the ECAJ as well as all stakeholders in the development of the National Curriculum.' Implementation of the history curricula by the states and territories will begin next year." (Curriculum changes welcomed, The Australian Jewish News, 21/12/12)

I've checked ACARA's website but we, the people, unlike Mr Wertheim, are not yet able to view the final version of the senior modern history curriculum.

[*For my analysis of Wertheim's submission, see my series Zionising the Draft Modern History Curriculum (2/8/12-26/8/12)]

No comments: